BOISE, Idaho — Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, KTVB remains committed to answering your questions about the virus.
One topic continuing question is the turnaround time for testing.
How long does it take to get your results back? And why are some people waiting up to two weeks to get results?
According to Idaho’s Public Division of Health, about 10% of Idahoans have been tested for COVID-19.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says results take about 2.5 days to get back to them, but they do not know how or when those providers notify their patients.
Saint Alphonsus has multiple options for testing, producing different turnaround times, from just a couple hours to several days.
A Saint Alphonsus spokesperson told KTVB their hospital experienced a significant surge in demand for testing two weeks ago, overwhelming their local and national lab capacities, which left some people waiting up to 14 days for their test results.
Saint Luke’s current turnaround for non-urgent outpatient tests is about seven days, but the hospital changed their outside lab this week, which could report results back as soon as four days.
Saltzer Health and Primary Health both have a three- to five-day turnaround.
AFC Urgent Care in Garden City said patients will get their results in seven days or less.
The Walgreens offering drive-thru testing on Fairview Avenue in Meridian has a turnaround of four to seven days.
One factor affecting those timelines is shipping.
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said 95% to 98% of test results are sent back to providers electronically, but the tests still take time to ship to in-state or out-of-state labs for testing.
The Idaho Bureau of Laboratories can run 500 to 600 tests a day, and currently has a three to four day reporting lag, but that turnaround time could soon lower to two to three days, after the lab hired more people to help with data entry.
Keep turnaround times in mind when going for a COVID-19 test.
Make sure to ask your healthcare provider how long it will take to get your results back so you can be in a better position to plan your quarantine and work plans.
At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.
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